Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The Grampians Easter 2009, 4WD style!

Well, we finally got the Pathfinder back from Nissan after lunch time last Thursday. The kids and I were getting toe-ey and thinking we would never get away for our trip to The Grampians.
We did have a little trouble with the car on the way up. The inter cooler hose blew off of the engine.This resulted in the motor kind of "shitting itself" or "dying in the arse"..phrases us Aussies may be inclined to use when things power down! It has a turbo injected diesel engine, so the turbo was not doing it's job pulling us up Box's cutting. This is an area notorious for trucks having to stop at times...and so did we!
Luckily husband has a mechanics cert and well, he knew what to do. We had to set up our caravan and Tom's tent in the dark. We have done this before, and so it was complete soon enough. Time to make a fire and relax after that!

Mia Loves her marshmellows!
Next day was Good Friday. The kids woke early and were excited to see the Christan group milling around the park setting up for their regular 9:30am session with the kids. They love it and so do I, that is because I get to have a relax for an hour and a coffee and a read of the paper while they are there.
Then, after lunch time we went for our first little snippet of 4wding. We took a route that is not used very frequently, Evident by the fact some trees and the bracken bushes were growing close to the track.

The track is named Bellfield track, it runs in behind Lake Bellfield which, sadly, has even less water in it than it did last year.

Mount William Range.

Emus grazing in pairs.

We did see a group of Emu's lazily grazing and wandering around in pairs. There were alot of butterflies and some lovely birds, mainly Rosella's, too. It started to get dark early so we headed back to camp and caught up with all our friends. Our lovely neighbour Bob, a gold prospector and retired dairy farmer kept us entertained by the fire.

Mount William Range in behind Halls Gap shops.

Next day we set off early for our next 4wd adventure. Map in my hand (yes, I am the Navigator), we followed the bitumen tourist road called Mt Victory Road. We did see some Wallabies here and alot of crazy bicycle riders which we had to dodge very carefully as the road is windy and has a very steep drop to our left side. We then took a left turn into Stony Creek Road. Stopped then and there to switch over to 4wd mode. Off we went, a bit of rough and tumble, yet not as much as the day previous. The reason is we knew to deflate the tyres a little to allow for a smoother ride, it sure worked, we all noted the difference right away.

We looked left and right all the way down the track, we could see alot of campers along the way, camping rough in the bush, something we plan to do next time. Gorgeous views, breath taking views were witnessed. We feel so blessed to be able to see Australia in this way. Our planned trip was to take Rosea Track. Some of the rock formatons were just amazing, the kids were naming them, like one would name clouds.

We turned right into Rosea track, we had to stop 2km or so down as the Parks people had put a gate across with a padlock. The sign read that due to the bush fires 3 years ago the parks were trying to get the Wallabies to re establish breeding and they are a sensitive creature. So, we parked the 4wd right there and took a hike up Tower Hill. It is 726m above sea level. What an amazing experience it was once we reached the top. Breath taking, one of those moments where the World stops revolving and you just go "Wow!" The valleys, the rock formations, they are all just so amazing.
Upon descent we met the most lovely people from South Australia. Michelle, Phil and their little man Braxton. Who soon became a patient of mine. He injured his little chin climbing an old burnt out branch. First aid administered, steri strips on the open wound and off to hospital for them. We planned to meet the next day to 4wd together..and that will be my next post. An unbelievable day, and we got to meet some people, perchance, who will be life long friends.

Atop of Tower Hill 726m above sea level.


Mal's Team Gherkin said...

Oh wow... just wow!

Middle Child said...

beautiful photos and I loved the aussi-isms such as ""shitting itself" or "dying in the arse".. so bloody good

Andrew said...

I will endorse the Wow comment. What a fab time.

jillie said...

That looks like a great trip even the few little mishaps. But that's what makes it an adventure right?

I love to camp and haven't done it in such a long time. I think that now that we have a new tent, I'll have to put the gears in motion.

Keshi said...

What great pics, what a great adventure!

**Mount William Range.

my fav pic and ofcourse ur cute kids! :)


Ginnie said...

To see an "Emu grazing" must be magical.

Stace said...

Sounds like a fantastic adventure!! I can't wait to be doing that sort of thing with my kid(s) one day :)

Cazzie!!! said...

Mal, wow indeedy.

Therese, lol, I know, I love the Aussie-isms, I use them frequently at home :)

Andrew, it as so beautiful, I could not help but think that this is how Australia was before it became inhabited by white man. So untouched, and pure, just beaut!

Jillie, just do it, you will all love it. Nothing like getting back to nature for a it.

Keshi, mwah :)

Ginnie, is sure was magical... we were all so excited to be witness to these amazing creatures.

Stace, no doubt you will both take Elspeth camping, ans she will love every minute of it too!

FoxyMoron said...

Beautiful, I love trips like that. I'm putting the Grampians on my "to visit" list.

Donn Kopenjz said...

That is so incredibly cool. You and your excursions..bloody marvelous.

When I retire will you adopt me and take me on tour?